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HERE AND NOW at Museum Ludwig: Anti-colonial Interventions

October 8, 2022–February 5, 2023

The seventh project in the “HERE AND NOW at Museum Ludwig” exhibition series sets out on an anti-colonial tour of the collection. The Museum Ludwig will take a critical and enquiring look at artistic positions from Latin America alongside the artists Daniela Ortiz (b. 1985 in Peru), Paula Baeza Pailamilla (b. 1988 in Chile), Pável Aguilar (b. 1989 in Honduras), and Paloma Ayala (b. 1980 in Mexico). Who are some of the Latin American artists in the collection? How does the exoticizing vision of the global South get reproduced by modernist artists, the majority of whom are European? Which works deserve critical examination, and which provide alternative models?

Daniela Ortiz is dedicated to promoting an anti-racist and anti-colonial discourse in her work. She interprets The Blessed Virgin Chastises the Infant Jesus by Max Ernst from her own perspective in her artwork (1921). Mapuche artist Paula Baeza Pailamilla explores a variety of subjects, including the customs of her ancestors who were indigenous people. She is drawn to group initiatives that help people identify their own bodies in political, social, and historical contexts. Baeza Pailamilla will create a performance and video installation about chocolate making for the event. Peter and Irene Ludwig, whose income was mostly derived from the global manufacturing and marketing of chocolate, made a donation that served as the foundation for the museum’s establishment in 1976.

Pável Aguilar, a sound artist, will employ sound sculptures and installations to engage with the museum’s permanent collection. Visitors can interact with clay figures made by artist Paloma Ayala, which will be extended and changed during the length of the exhibition. In addition, a specifically designed program of events will promote conversation with guests about what anti-colonial interventions can entail. “I am pleased that the exhibition highlights the current relevance and urgency of anti-colonial viewpoints on museum collections,” said director Yilmaz Dziewior. The presentation of our collection is placed next to artistic interventions, which constructively challenges prevalent narratives.

The artworks, which will be dotted across the museum, highlight the power structures that already exist. For instance, Pável Aguilar works with and flips the exoticizing perception of Expressionist artists. Information on the lengthy history of discrimination at the institution of the museum will be available through a dictionary and QR codes placed on various pieces of art. The issues brought up also look ahead to the future, asking how we may act in a way that is anti-colonial while yet working within colonial frameworks. Can a museum that employs a largely white workforce be anti-colonial? Giving space to various types of information can also involve opening oneself up to different points of view, as might be done, for example, in order to find environmentally friendly ways of living and conducting business.

Artists: Paloma Ayala, Pável Aguilar, Daniela Ortiz, Paula Baeza Pailamilla

Curator: Joanne Rodriguez

The Storch Foundation and the HERE AND NOW group of members of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst am Museum Ludwig e. V. have both generously donated to the show.

The Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb deserves special recognition for its significant support of the supporting program. We also appreciate the support given to the show by Russmedia and the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation.

The supporting program is available here.

The artists will take over the Museum Ludwig Instagram account on the following dates:

October 10–14:  Paula Baeza Pailamilla 
November 7–11: Adriana Dominguez 
December 5–9: Pável Aguilar 
January 9–13, 2023: Paloma Ayala 

Museum Ludwig, Cologne
50667 Cologne
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +49 221 22126165
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